Art Critics Honor Museums
Each year, the International Association of Art Critics invites its nearly 400 members in the United States to vote for the best exhibitions created during that season. For 2003-04, museums and galleries in Houston, TX, and Los Angeles, CA, took home an impressive share of the 22 awards. The Best Thematic Museum Show was a shared prize between the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-70s. Second place went to A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The Best Monographic Museum Show award was given to Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective, organized by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Second place was awarded to Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston for Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration. L.A. Louver Gallery in Venice, CA, won second place for Best Show in a Commercial Gallery for Terry Allen: Dugout I. The awards were presented in January at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY.
New Signature Members
The Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters organization has announced the acceptance of five new signature members—Colorado artist Karen Vance, Arizona’s W. Scott Jennings, and Niles Nordquist, Michael Situ, and Joe Mancuso from California. With the additions, the group has about 75 members, fulfilling an original five-year membership plan, according to executive director Brian Mack.
Agnes Martin, the internationally renowned painter, died at her home in Taos, NM, on December 16. She was 92 years old. Her abstract works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and many others. One of her pieces, the drift of summer, sold at auction in 2000 for $1.4 million.
Arizona artist Ray Swanson passed away on December 17 from complications due to multiple myeloma cancer. He was 67. A former president of the Cowboy Artists of America, Swanson painted Native Americans and images of the West with passion and under-standing. Watch for a tribute to Swanson featuring his work in an upcoming issue of Southwest Art.
The December Child-Rite Auction in Taos, NM, raised just over $100,000 for the organization, which provides expenses and support for adoptions in New Mexico. Over 400 items were donated for the silent and live auctions, and approximately 500 people attended. The highlight of the event, held at the Taos Convention Center, was the sale of Sherrie McGraw’s variations in red, which fetched $16,500—the highest price in the auction’s history. Child-Rite was co-founded by Dr. Larry Schreiber, a family physician in Taos, and has placed over 220 children since 1989.
The top lot at Sotheby’s December auction of American paintings, drawings, and sculptures in New York was the 1905 oil painting group with parasols (a siesta) by John Singer Sargent, which fetched $23,528,000. The auction’s total sales exceeded $107 million.
In addition to the galleries listed at the end of her “My World” article in the January issue, Jane DeDecker is also represented by Columbine Galleries, Santa Fe, NM, and Loveland, CO. Southwest Art regrets the omission.
Featured in March 2005